The Fixer – The Naked Man (A Katerina Mills Novella) is the first book in the thriller series about Katerina ‘Kat’ Mills, a professional fixer who helps the rich and privileged with their problems on the down low. Full of danger and excitement, and a strong lead female character.
I like when you can get a clear grasp of a character quickly and I felt that with this book, an instant but not too dramatic characterisation, where it felt like I was meeting Katerina rather than reading her manifesto or her biography. It’s kept me reading at least. Another thing I need to mention is that the narrative flows really well, as someone who’s struggled to write his own thriller, the biggest problem for me was pacing and making sure that the story flowed properly. It didn’t just race forward but it also wasn’t bogged down by heavy exposition at the start, I feel that Jill is able to manage the balance that a good story and a good thriller requires quite gracefully.
She also uses description well, a lot of writers in their first novel weigh down the narrative with description, either to pad out the word count or because they have a clear and vivid image they are trying to express and sometimes this can be a valid choice and even enhance the story but often it can be intrusive Jill however manages to again find a nice balance between description and subtext.
Returning to the pacing and narrative for a moment, we are slowly introduced to the characters of the story in a timely fashion, at times a few of the characters felt a little 2 dimensional but it can be difficult to inject every character with their own vitality especially when they are only there to serve a specific purpose and It definitely didn’t impact my ability to enjoy the story.
But for the most part the characters were engaging, I particularly liked Katerina, who is a strong, self assured, female protagonist who still has her flaws and Philip, who’s exactly the type of charming manipulator who looks good on paper or in bed next to you but you probably don’t want to invite him over for Sunday dinner.
I am deeply passionate about thrillers and crime fiction, it’s a genre that I find endlessly fascinating so when reviewing this I probably worried over what to say because I do like to be positive during these reviews but honestly it wasn’t hard to enjoy this book, sure it has teething problems, few stories are perfect but this is a damn good book and I’d recommend it to both fans of the genre as well as people just looking for an engaging story to enjoy. So with that in mind I think I’ll give it a 3/5. You can check out my interview with the author here, and if you want to grab a copy of the book then head on over to Amazon. I also reviewed the follow up to this book, and you can check that out here, and if you like what I have to say about it you can purchase the book on Amazon. Lastly, since these reviews were published the third installment in The Fixer – Katerina Mills series has been released and you can also grab that on Amazon by clicking here.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/